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Cup Positioning System 

Make] Projects 

Cup Positioning System 

Written By: Cy Tymony 



Magnet (1) 



Paper clip (1) 



Not everyone has a GPS (Global Positioning System), but you can easily make a CPS (Cup 
Positioning System) from any cup and learn the art of orienteering! 

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Cup Positioning System 
Step 1 — Mark the cup. 

• Draw a crescent moon on one side 
of the cup. Then draw a downward- 
pointing arrow that rests against 
both tips of the moon. Write South 
at the bottom. 

• On the other side, draw the Big 
Dipper and Little Dipper 
constellations. These resemble 
pans with handles. The Big 
Dipper's rightmost stars point to 
the Little Dipper's "handle" star, 
which is Polaris, the North Star. 
Draw a downward arrow from 
Polaris and write North at the 

• Turn the cup over and draw the 
numbers 1 through 12 on its bottom 
in a clock formation. 

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Cup Positioning System 

Step 2 — Make a compass needle. 

• Straighten a staple or small paper 
clip. To magnetize it, rub it 30 
times with a magnet in one 
direction only. 

• Place the staple lengthwise on 
transparent tape, and fold the tape 
over so the staple is sealed in the 
middle. Now float your compass 
needle on a cup of water and when 
it comes to rest, write N on the 
north-pointing end, and S on the 
other (south-facing) end. Tape it to 
the side of the cup for safekeeping. 

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Cup Positioning System 

Step 3 — Find your way. 

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Cup Positioning System 

• Your Sneaky CPS device is ready 
to help you find your directions in 
several ways, day or night. 

• Sun: If the sun is visible and you 
know what time it is, you can easily 
locate directions. Turn the cup over 
to reveal the clock numbers. 
Keeping the cup level, aim the 
number that represents the current 
hour at the sun. For example, if it's 
3 p.m., aim the number 3 at the 
sun. Halfway between the position 
of the sun and the number 12 is the 
direction south. 

• Moon: If there's a crescent moon 
in the sky, imagine an arrow 
pointing downward that follows the 
2 tips of the moon. This points 
south. This trick also works fairly 
well with a half or gibbous (%) 

• Stars: Position the cup so you can 
see the Big Dipper and the Little 
Dipper images on it. Now look up to 
find them in the night sky. It's 
easier to locate the Big Dipper first, 
then follow its rightmost stars that 
point to the Little Dipper's "handle," 
the North Star. 

• Compass: Add water to the cup to 
transform it into a compass. Float 
your compass needle on the 
surface. When it comes to rest it 
will point north! 

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Cup Positioning System 

This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 21 . page 30. 

last generated on 2012-11-03 05:25:41 AM. 

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